What does is the filling of the Holy Spirit? How can a person be filled with the Holy Spirit and how does a person know that he / she is filled with the Holy Spirit?
It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit has been promised to every Christian believer. In John 14:16-17 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit is our Helper who will dwell inside of us forever.
However there is a difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
For example, 1 Corinthians 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
That scripture is speaking of the fact that the Holy Spirit simply dwells or resides inside the Christian believer.
The filling of the Holy Spirit however, speaks of the influence and control that the Holy Spirit must have in our individual lives. For example, Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”.
Therefore when a person is drunk with wine or alcohol – the wine is not only dwelling inside that person, but the wine is influencing and controlling how that drunk person thinks, behaves and how he makes decisions.
So Paul is contrasting that by saying that instead of wine influencing and controlling our thinking and behavior – as Christians, the filling of the Holy Spirit is about us allowing the Holy Spirit to influence and control every area and aspect of our life. The Holy Spirit should therefore influence and control how we think, behave and make decisions in our life. The Holy Spirit our motives, our relationships, our character so that everything in us and about us is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
That is the filling of the Holy Spirit.
How Can We Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?
1. By Obedience to God
Sin is what basically hinders the filling of the Holy Spirit. However, obedience to God is how the filling of the Holy Spirit is maintained.
Jesus said that if we love Him then we will obey His commandments. Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance all the teachings and things that He has taught us.
Therefore our remembrance and obedience to God’s word allows the Holy Spirit the freedom to fill us and work in our lives.
2. By Glorifying Christ
Our motive must always be to glorify Jesus Christ if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit in our life is to equip us and enable us to live a life that glorifies Jesus Christ.
Therefore it’s important for every Christian believer to be influenced and controlled by the Holy Spirit.